Handsome and I keep going back to this pasta.  It’s a great, simple base for so many dishes.  I’ve had success adding broccoli, peas, zucchini, tomato paste, shrimp, and chicken to it, but it’s also fabulously comforting on its own.

The key to this pasta dish is “the spice,” as we call it in my house.  Handsome brought home a packet of spices from Italy when he was on a business trip, and we’ve been working through it ever since.  The mixture is made up of dried parsley, dried chopped garlic, and dried chili flakes.  I don’t know the exact proportions, so when we run out of this packet I’ll be guessing until I get it right! (Or sending Handsome back to Italy.) It’s also important to use good olive oil and good parmesan in this dish; I’ve tried to make it with less good ingredients, but since there are only four ingredients, using substandard ones is really noticeable.

Pasta with Oil and Spices (serves two)
1/2 pound pasta (I usually use linguine or spaghetti)
Olive oil, once around the pan
Two pinches of “spice” (mixture of dried parsley, dried garlic, and dried chili flakes)
Finely grated parmesan cheese, to taste

Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente.  Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium low heat in a skillet and, when the pasta is close to done, add the spice to the oil.  When the pasta is done, drain it in a colander and transfer it to the skillet with the oil and spice.  Toss the pasta in the oil and spice.  Plate it up, top with parmesan, and enjoy!

Tip: If you choose to add veggies or meat to your pasta, then sautee the veggies extra ingredients in olive oil and spice (add an extra pinch of spice) and remove them from heat until the pasta is done.  When your extra ingredients are done, remove from the heat until the pasta is done.  Toss the pasta and the other ingredients in oil and spice, and proceed as usual.

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